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No. 1 

Rev. James A. Bates 

In the death of Rev. James Atwood Bates the Ameri- 
can Fern Society has lost an ex-president and a charter 
member whose botanical experience goes back a long 
generation before the beginning of popular fern study 
in America. It is almost startling to realize that he 
began collecting plants in the days of Thoreau, while 
D. C. Eaton was a school boy, about the time of the 

[No. 4 of the Journal (6 : pages 97-136, Plate 6) was issued Dec. 13, 


2 American Fern Journal 

birth of L. M. Underwood, and nearly twenty years 
before G. E. Davenport began the study of ferns. 

He was born on May 2, 1832, in the old Congrega- 
tionalist parsonage in Newton Center, Mass., where his 
father, Rev. James Bates, was pastor for twelve years. 
His mother, Emily Atwood Bates, was a sister of Harriet 
Newell, one of the first missionaries of the American 
Board to India. He prepared for college at Williston 
Seminary, Easthampton, Mass., graduating from Am- 
herst College in 1856, and from Andover Theological 
Seminary in 1860. On October 25, 1860, he married 
Sarah Adams Tobey and shortly thereafter sailed for 
Ceylon, where he remained three years as a missionary. 

Compelled by ill health to give up missionary work,, 
he returned to America and during the succeeding 
forty years held pastorates in Huntington, Mass., 1866; 
Belpre, Ohio, 1867; Brooklyn, Ohio, 1872; Lowell, 
Mass., 1874; Wolcott, Vt., 1877; Barton Landing (now 
Orleans), Vt., 1880; Williston, Vt., 1883; Randolph, Vt., 
1890; South Royalston, Mass., 1898. 

He was President of the American Fern Society 
during the year 1910. He was a charter member of 
the Vermont Botanical Club and as long as health 
permitted was a frequent and interested participant 
in the meetings of that society. He was not a volum- 
inous writer, but his occasional contributions to the 
Fern Bulletin, Fern Journal, Bulletin of the Vermont 
Botanical Club and other publications all reflect his 
characteristic mental keenness, youthful enthusiasm, 
and generous and kindly spirit. 

For more than sixty years he employed the spare 
moments of a busy life in the study of nature, collecting 
not only plants but minerals, shells and curios from all 
parts of the world. Among the writer's most vivid 
recollections of boyhood days is that of sitting in a little 
Vermont church listening with rapt attention to his 

Is Pellaea glabella a Distinct Species? 3 

stories of life in Ceylon which he illustrated with images, 
implements and natural objects collected during his 
stay in " heathen lands." 

His death occurred on the third day of September 
after several months of failing health, in South Royals- 
ton, which had been his home for the past eighteen 
years. The photograph here reproduced was taken 
some twenty years ago. 


Is Pellaea glabella Mett. a Distinct Species? 1 


In an earlier number of the Journal ( 4: 97-100, 
Jy-S, 1914) the writer called attention to two forms 
of the Cliff Brake found growing together on the lime- 
stone cliffs of southern Indiana, both of which are 
locally called Pellaea atropurpurea (L.) Link, but which 
differ so widely that they seem certainly to be distinct 
varieties or even distinct species. 

Through the kindness of Mr. C. A. Weatherby, speci- 
mens of both forms were on display at the Philadelphia 
meeting. Later the broad-leaf specimens were compared 
with authentic specimens of P. atropurpurea var. Bushii 
(collected at Monteer, Mo., by B. F. Bush, Oct. 24, 
1901) and reported as identical with that variety. Mr. 
Weatherby stated that Mr. Bush evidently thought 
the variety Bushii the same as P. glabella in as much 
as his later labels bear the latter name. 

In December, 1915, the writer received from Mr. F. C. 
Greene specimens of P. glabella collected Oct. 3, 1915, 
North Terrace, Kansas City, Mo., which are in every 
way identical with the Indiana specimens. Later 
examination of specimens in the Washington State 
College Herbarium has shown specimens of P. glabella 

1 Contribution from the Bot. Dept., Washington State College.